So I won't go into much detail this time since I have so many days to cover, but it's been a really busy/fun/nice few days, the kind where you can't tell if it's moving nice and slow or way too fast but there definitely aren't enough hours in the day.
Christmas day was lovely. Woke up at half five to muck out/milk at our farm, then go over to High farm to muck out, then on the milk run, all with Justin and Neil and Ben. Then an appropriately sized breakfast at HBN, which I felt I had earned. Had to dash to get to the hall by 10:15 to rehearse our church songs a bit more, then to the service, which was the Act of Consecration of Man which happens every day during the Holy Nights and is the same service as the midnight one I went to the night before. So we sang and I fell asleep in between songs cuz, please, I'd hardly slept four hours, and it was beautiful and went really well.
Paule cooked all morning and was in a very good mood and at 3:30 we ate a HUGE meal. The biggest turkey I've ever seen with parsnip/carrot mash and stuffing and brussel sprouts sauteed with all kinds of things and christmas pudding for dessert and there were party poppers on the table and after we ate we shot them off at each other and broke open these little party favor things and told lame jokes and Felicity gave a toast to James Bond and cheeks flushed with wine we laughed and laughed. A few hours later we sat down to open presents, and I was a bit nervous but everyone seemed to appreciate what I gave them. Especially Felicity! She got so many nice things but the whole time she pored over the James Bond calendar!
After singing and present opening and chocolates and tea I got in touch with mah peeps and ended up at the pub with Ben, Andreas and a whole bunch of staff kids home for the holidays. The pub was absolutely packed, and a bit frat-like at times, but we all had a really nice time.
And the last few days have consisted mainly of eating, farming and partying. Very little sleeping makes its way into my schedule. I'm on the farm at 9 and 4 every day with the exception of Tuesday, which was my day off. But not really, cuz I had to go these meeting about Botton and Botton's future and I thought it would be really boring but it was actually really nice. I met with a few houseparents and villagers and we talked about "Botton as a Care Provider" and brought up all these things I never even thought about, like the fact that a huge number of villagers are approaching old age and where are we going to put them all when they need extra care?!
Yesterday I mucked out the byres and then nabbed a lift from Madi and Phillip to the church for Ben and Valeksa's wedding!! They're already officially married, but they never had a proper service, so they wanted to do that. It was really nice, very simple and almost Quaker-like but with a bit more ritual and Jesus talk. Valeska looked so beautiful and all the kids were giggling and grinning and we all made and arch with our hands and they ran through it and into the mini-bus which Andreas and Janna and Ian (a villager from New Botton Farm (NBF)) and Andreas's mom and I had made decorations for the night before. They even put tin cans on strings hanging off the back! It was so cute.
For supper last night (New Years Eve! So funny to me that it was the new year for me before it was for you guys...) we had fondue! But Paule came down suddenly with the tummy bug and went to bed before supper. I was surprised the bug is still around, I hadn't heard of anyone getting sick for a week or so, but this morning Nick said she was sick all night. :(
So anywho, it was New Year's Eve, and after filling my belly to the brim with cheese and bread (gluten free of course, who wants gas on New Years?), I went out. Oh but first I told Phil I was out of alcohol so he gave me some whisky and ginger beer...such a role model. :P I spent a large part of the evening figuring out where the hell everyone was! First I went to the school, where the village party was, but it was pretty lame and I didn't see anyone there, so I went to NBF and found Andreas and Janna (Yanna) and they were going to the hall to the sober and spiritual service thingy cuz they had volunteered to ring bells at it. So I went with them but when we got there I was like eff this I wanna party so I went back to the school, and by this time the dancing had kicked in and the co-workers were slightly intoxicated and there were tons of staff kids ("natives") and then some outsiders came (oooo!) and it was suddenly a smashing good time! Drinking and dancing and squealing and laughing ensued among co-workers and villagers alike. At midnight everyone counted down the seconds and then there was much hugging and kissing and mirth and then a few fireworks outside, followed by more dancing. Eventually the people from the sober service showed up and gradually people made their way to other parties. Ben and Andreas and Natalie and Isabel and Hannah (natives) went to High farm, decided the party was lame, and then went on to the Back of the Dale party, which, trecherous hike aside, was very nice. Big fires inside and out to keep us warm, merry drunken carol singing and more new people to meet. Stayed there till around 4:30, then in bed by 5:00 and slept till 11. Paule was in bed all day so I made lunch with Phil and have had a surprising amount of energy all things considered. But now I'll have a little siesta before going to the farm.
Happy New Year!
Oh, the title means basically that things have been so busy and they wont let up soon cuz there are more parties to attend and things to do and people to see and all that.